Apple Already Faces Lawsuit for iMessage-to-Android Text Loss

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Apple in CourtApple is already facing its first lawsuit for vanishing iMessage text messages. The problem affects users who switch from iPhone to Android and find text messages from other iPhone users don't reach them. According to Bloomberg, Apple was sued by Adrienne Moore in San Jose, CA, who is seeking class action status for the suit.

The problem publicly surfaced earlier in May, when Adam Pash detailed the problems he was experiencing. After switching from iPhone to an Android device, his phone number remained associated with his iCloud account within Apple's ecosystem.

This resulted in text messages from Apple devices to that phone number being sent to iCloud/iMessage, rather than the number's true home on his Android device. Text messages from non-iPhone users made it just fine, but messages from iPhone owners were marked as delivered, but not actually delivered.

According to him, AppleCare support staff told him:

  1. This is a problem a lot of people are facing.
  2. The engineering team is working on it but is apparently clueless as to how to fix it.
  3. There are no reliable solutions right now — for some people the standard fixes work immediately; many others are in my boat.

Considering the ubiquitous nature of text messages today, it's a significant problem for anyone effected, making a lawsuit unsurprising. In addition, as one of the richest entities on the planet, Apple is a ready target for suits.

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages, and claims that Apple is penalizing users who switch and failed to disclose that switching would result in such a penalty. Apple never publicly responds to lawsuits and has not done so on this occasion.

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Comments

Dave Nelson

Don’t you have to show a monetary loss in a lawsuit? What is the monetary loss for someone not receiving a text with some dumb comment with a smiley or two at the end? If it was that important they would call with a follow-up.

ctopher

This is pretty dumb. You go from a free service (iMessage) to a paid service (SMS) and people are mad that the free messages don’t make the jump? I suppose I understand that you might not broadcast to everyone that they can no longer use iMessage to reach you, but when a message is not answered, get a clue!

This is a case where Apple made it too easy and integrated the SMS system with their system.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that you should be able to remove your phone number from iMessage so that the iUser sees that the message did not get through, but really, the service is free (and not 100% reliable at that) so have the commensurate expectation. I’ve enabled my number on various machines, some of which are no longer, but I’ll bet Apple doesn’t know that. (Kinda like iTunes authorizations.) But like iTunes, I suppose Apple should have the ability to just remove the number from everything. (Of course you better be able to prove that you own that number, lest people start reverse slamming!)

vpndev

ctopher - actually it’s not so dumb. And that’s because it doesn’t affect just iMessage, but also FaceTime.

Long story, but the short version is that my cousin now has the SIM card I used to have, and the phone number. He has his own iCloud account signed in on his iPhone, and I have mine signed in on my new iPhone.

So, why do FaceTime calls to me go to his iPhone ?? Because Apple’s “presence” mechanism is broken, at least in part.

webjprgm

It does seem like a legitimate engineering problem, but not a lawsuit. Of course I’m no lawyer. But if I were a user switching to Android or moving around who in my family had what phone number, I would get pretty upset about messages going to the wrong place too.

I hope the lawsuit fails but that Apple pays attention and fixes the issue. That would be the best outcome.

Lee Dronick

Maybe some sort of procedure for deactivating the iPhone or swapping out the SIM. Something in the Settings that turns off the iMessages and FaceTime settings, before the SIM is removed. Of course users would have to be educated about it and that is the current problem, they don’t know their iPhone and iOS very well.

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